Council to consider plans for extra care homes

Cheshire West & Chester Council's executive is being encouraged to back plans to create another 250 homes aimed at the elderly in Chester and Ellesmere Port.

Members of the executive are being urged to approve a 125-year leasehold agreement with the Cosmopolitan Housing Association on three former schools sites at High field Nursery in Blacon, Woodfields in Newton and Gorsthills in Great Sutton.

Cheshire West & Chester Council is being asked to provide the sites, valued at £4.2m, and the £30m estimated build cost funded with the help of a Homes & Community Agency of £4.25m with the balance by private finance raised by Cosmopolitan Housing Association and sales income from the development.

The council said the proposed scheme will deliver 250 apartments with opportunities for older people to rent, buy outright or purchase a shared ownership at levels delivering a minimum of 80% affordable housing.

Each of the three schemes will include 24-hour on site care and support team to offer responsive care and provide a range of on site communal facilities to promote independence and well-being.

On Wednesday, the council's executive will consider a joint report from the directors of regeneration and culture and adult social care and health on the strategic challenge to ensure appropriate housing provision and support for older people.

The report reveals that the strategic housing market assessment, updated in 2010, estimates an annual need for 322 affordable older person units across the borough over a five year period from 2009 to 2014.

Cllr Brenda Dowding, executive member for adult social care and health at the council, said: "The aim is for flexible extra care housing schemes to become a focal point in the local community, enabling others to benefit from the facilities as part of a 'healthier communities' strategy."

The partnership scheme could complete the three schemes by 31 March 2015.

Cllr Herbert Manley, executive member for prosperity, added: "CWAC already has a number of extra care housing schemes across the Borough and is involved in the development of an additional scheme at Northgate Avenue in Chester.

"Both directorates will continue to work with the market, both private sector and Housing Associations to encourage development in this area with new schemes planned for Northwich and Helsby."

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